Who Killed Captain Alex? 
Directed & Written by: Nabwana I.G.G.
Featuring: Kakule William, Kakule Wilson & Sserunya Ernest
Produced by: Alan Hofmanis (as “Alan Ssali Hofmanis”) & Nabwana I.G.G.
Company: Ramon Film Productions
Category: Action Fusion
In the pursuit and viewing of weird movies, one is bound to come across a doorway that leads to something which is far more than it appears to be. One afternoon I was presented with such a doorway in the form of a simple text from my brother.
Glen: Watch the trailer for “Who Killed Captain Alex?”. I just ordered a copy.
One minute and forty seconds later:
Well, that’s certainly going to be interesting. It’s a good bet that you already know that however if this episode’s Featured Image is any indication. Glen did some research into the movie while he waited for it to arrive as is his way, sharing facts with me that included such things as the director having filmed a lot more movies since then, and being known as, “The Tarantino of Uganda.”. Then came the day that the movie arrived. Let me tell you, the delivery only heightened our expectations because this is what we got:
Up to this point, everything I knew about this movie came from the trailer and a bunch of videos constructed from scenes that I would later learn were from other Wakaliwood films. The focus was always on how bad the effects were and how crazy the acting was so I didn’t have any expectations other than that. So we open this package up without tearing that fucking awesome sticker and pull out a plastic sleeve. Inside this sleeve is a blank disc inside a DVD jacket without a casing with the title written on it. I love this already. Also included were two Wakaliwood stickers:
and a message from the company which included this little gem of information:
“Note that there is no Menu on this DVD. Most of our customers in Uganda have either lost or broken their remote controls, so it helps if the movie just starts.”
Something about that is the kind of great that I just can’t put into words, it just makes my brain feel like warm cookies. So into the Blu-Ray goes the disc and out of the foil wraps come a meatball and an eggplant sub. So began what would turn out to be an adventure. Things start out in a familiar way with the company logo and trailers to other films but that’s where “familiar” stops because this is probably the wildest company logo sequence that I have ever seen. If I didn’t know the context I’d have thought my sub was laced with some kind of exotic mushroom.
The trailers for Wakaliwood’s other films were additionally all-out, so it was a surprising break when they weren’t followed by the movie, but by an informative VICE documentary. It was during this that we learned a thing or two, and I gained true respect for the people behind the film we’d be watching. To sum it up, Nabwana and the actors who work with him talk about the things that inspired them to make movies, ranging from their favorite actors and action films to the events they experienced during Uganda’s harsh past. Nabwana shows the viewer the work station where he put the movie together using computers that he built, you join Bisaso Duada in the prop shop as he showcases several of the prop weapons built and used for the films, and meet “Bruce U” Bukenya Charles himself as he trains the youth of Wakaliga in the ways of Kung Fu.
Yes, this is a Ugandan action film with Western cinematic elements and Kung Fu fighting. “Write what you know.” Well Wakaliwood took what it knew collectively and produced something that I guarantee you will see nowhere else. The movie itself even gives you an idea of how film presentation works in Wakaliga and other parts of Uganda. You won’t go to a theater, everyone would go to a promoted location in town with chairs and a screen set up; think of the guy with the traveling film projector in The Three Amigos. Then during the movie, a “V.J.” acts as both narrator and comic commentator. I should only have to say, “MST3K” and you’ll get the picture. The disc provides all of this so now you’re even further immersed in the experience.
So now that I’ve already gone the typical length of a (Weird) Watching, let’s begin! The titular Captain Alex and soldiers under his command have arrived in town to carry out a raid on the Tiger Maffia (sic). After setting up their encampment, first having to drain the plot of land of rain water, all some of the soldiers want is nothing more than to just hit the bar and have a good time. The good times get out of control when one of them gets “handsy” with the singer and another man, either her husband or the proprietor, starts a fight with him. “BAR FIGHT!” ensues until Captain Alex comes storming in and kicks a bunch of his men’s asses. “The people here take you in, and this is how you repay them?!”
The day of the raid arrives. Alex and his men prepare the location ahead of time, clearing out lookouts and taking up positions around the area. You especially have to love the guy who’s climbed up onto the top of a door frame, the visual payoff is hysterical. Richard, head of the Tiger Maffia, is here to collect a drop from his right-hand man, Puffs. For added security, Puffs has hired a Russian mercenary (He’s Russian, just go with it.) armed with a huge belt-fed gun which is easily my favorite weapon in the movie. Alex and his men make their move just as Richard starts to get paranoid.
What follows is glorious action madness as the Tigers and the military exchange flurry after flurry of gunfire and hand-to-hand Kung Fu blows, all to the crooning of V.J. Emmie:
Tigers kill Alex’s soldiers, Alex’s soldiers kill Richard’s Tigers, several characters/actors die twice or even three times. Some actors are even set up as fighting themselves! All of this happens in such fast cuts that you’ll probably need a minute after it’s all said and done. The stragglers from both sides eventually manage a retreat: Puffs gets out with the drop and one of Richard’s wives, but Alex and his men manage to capture Richard’s brother.
To say that Richard is upset with this news is to do injustice to his reaction. Not only does he shoot the wife (“You saved this bitch?!”), he also shoots a few Tigers before proceeding to beat the shit out of everyone present, even straight-up hurling a heavy set piece Hulk-like right into another guy who flies out of the shot. I’d be clapping along with the action laughter that’s spilling out of me if I wasn’t holding a sub. Richard goes to the local government to plead for his brother’s release. How he manages to do this while being head of the frigging Tiger Maffia I couldn’t really tell you. Either they don’t know who he really is or they’re too scared to do anything about it.
Well, if Richard can’t get to his brother through the locals, he’ll get to him through the guy responsible for nabbing him in the first place: Captain Alex. Unbeknownst to him and his troops, Richard has a mole inside of their encampment. I would expect that Richard put this mole into use after the raid, otherwise they’d be dead right now for being a real shitty mole. The plan is to take Captain Alex hostage and make him give up the location of where Richard’s brother is. But when Puffs and his team infiltrate the camp and fighting breaks out, they have to split, only being able to take two of Alex’s men hostage.
There’s also a big problem: someone killed Captain Alex! Nobody seems to have witnessed it happen but the news sends Richard in to a fury, he wanted the man alive after all. He brutally goes through his ranks and questions the captured soldiers, demanding to know “Who Killed Captain Alex?!” There’s somebody else who’d like to know the answer to that question: Alex’s Kung Fu-fighting brother. As he investigates into his brother’s death, “Bruce U” will encounter obstacles and brawls along the way but will also gain a surprising ally.
And now we get to the famous helicopters! A member of the Tiger Maffia breaks into a military base and steals a helicopter! Soon he’s blowing up buildings all over town and Richard threatens that he’ll keep doing it until his brother is returned to him. Now it’s “Bruce U”, the remaining soldiers of Alex’s unit, Richard and his baddest men, a rogue helicopter, and the Ugandan Air Force in an all-out jungle fight!
Who will survive and will be having a lead lunch? Can the helicopter be taken down before it destroys more of the city? What will happen when Kung Fu and Cartel finally come face to face? And the most important question of all:
Who Killed Captain Alex?!
Favored Ability: *inhales* STR/DEX/INT/CHA. Four abilities, a new feat for (Weird) Watching! This flick packs plenty of punch and flies with the speed of Kung Fu. The knowledge of the actors and crew creates something gritty and real, plus Who Killed Captain Alex has plenty of character and wackiness to be had. “Wakaness”? 😀
Rating: 5/5 (ACTION!) [+1 Ingenuity Bonus, +2 V.J. Charisma Modifier, +1 Abundant Ammo, + 1 Helicopter Hijinks]
What more can I say? Who Killed Captain Alex is something that you have to experience for yourself to fully appreciate and I highly recommend that you do. By itself the film could be seen as little more than cheap and choppy action trash, except that it’s not. Having all the pieces of context, background, and history that I do, Who Killed Captain Alex becomes something far larger and ambitious than it was at first glance. I felt nothing but entertained and Wakaliwood and RAMON Film Productions have earned my respect and film-consuming gratitude.
This episode of (Weird) Watching was a bit late because a) Movigos Saturday came right after it and b) Wakaliwood found my Tweet about seeing the movie with Glen, Liked, Re-tweeted, and Subbed, requiring me to take time off to shit my pants.
This review is so long because I wanted you, the reader, to as informed as possible. Even thought Who Killed Captain Alex has since evolved into a meme, the film is so much more than that. One thing that you don’t often see in B-Cinema is what goes on behind the camera. Sure, you can get a feel for the level of the production’s enthusiasm by the style and handling of one title or another, But this was more than a mere behind-the-scenes look. As stated in the VICE Doc, “…it’s a bit like seeing the birth of cinema in a way.” Once you’ve seen how they’ve learned to make movies, once you understand the level of commitment and sheer amount of fun this studio is having with each of their films, you’ll know Wakaliwood as more than, “Movie movie movie!”
But “Movie movie movie!” is still welcome. :p